Les Trois Garcons: Deliciously decadent (December 2014)

I first visited Les Trois Garcons when it opened around 15 years ago. I loved it then and I still love it now. Shoreditch has changed a lot during this time, but the evidently successful formula here has not. We all probably play the game – if you had a restaurant, how might you choose to furnish it? My answer – if I could get away with it – would certainly be along the lines of what the proprietors of Les Trois Garcons have chosen. The building itself is a former high-Victorian pub and while some vestiges of this décor remain (including the impressive bar and mirrors), the rest of the venue is decked with a range of outrageously stuffed animals lurking in many corners. Handbags hang from the ceiling too. It works. And, if you can’t imagine it, then go. Beyond this part of the experience, the remainder was undoubtedly impressive too. We were greeted warmly and nothing seemed too much trouble for the enthusiastic staff. Our group of six began with cocktails while considering the menu and a perfectly executed Negroni seemed to fit the bill in a place such as this. The food here is classically French, but again prepared flawlessly. A range of starters were selected across our party and while I perhaps chose poorly with my mushroom and artichoke salad, having the option to eat garlic-stuffed snails (as one of our group did) is a rare privilege. With the mains, Les Trois Garcons certainly excelled. Several of our group opted for Chateaubriand steak to share, while I went for the spiced venison. The tenderness of the meat, the emphasis on flavours and the accompanying sides were all first-rate. This was all enjoyed with some good Ribera del Duero, selected from a decent (not too lengthy and certainly not stupidly priced) wine list. Overall, sit back and enjoy – a wonderful atmosphere and experience and at a fair price too.